When you fast (as many Muslims are doing this time of year), you’re taking your body through an amazing detox process, where it rids itself of any toxins and starts the healing process that it’s been longing to do all year.
That’s great… BUT what about the damage we cause after Iftar?????
Let me give you an idea of the possible damage you may be causing after a long day of fasting. Basically, how you could be un-doing all the good stuff that you’ve been struggling to achieve during the day.
Damage #1 – Eating meat and dairy products at Iftar
All the hormones, antibiotics, and crap that your body just worked so hard at detoxing that day, you have just re-entered into the system. If you don’t know yet, meat and dairy products are packed with antibiotics and hormones that your body DOES NOT need and, in fact, is struggling to get rid of. My advice? Keep your iftar as vegan as possible. Salads, soups, wholegrains, and other good stuff… To read more about my radical theories about why dairy products are just about the worst stuff you could be consuming, read this blog post called Life After Cheese.
Damage #2 -Gulping down sugary drinks
Lemonade, mango juice, Qamareldin, and the list goes on…. these are naturally very sweet (and some people add extra sugar to them too!). If you have these juices at Iftar, you’re making your body release mega amounts of insulin to combat all the sugar rush. Insulin = storing the extra sugar as fat. And guess where insulin stores fat? Right in your mid-section (your belly). The common ‘beer belly’ is actually a ‘sugar belly’. So when it comes to thirst, just drink water!
Damage #3 – Fried food galore
Samboosaaaaaaas all over the place. There’s is so much saturated trans fats in those that they probably clog your arteries before you even swallow. Watch out because they ARE harmful and a whole month’s- worth can take it’s toll. Your options would be to go easy on the fried stuff, or bake them! Baked samboosas taste great (really!). And, by the way, even if you ‘have them just once a year’, it does have a harmful effect on your body…. so what are you gonna do at today’s Iftar?
Damage #4 – Dessert bonanza
I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many desserts as the ones I see in Ramadan. And they’re not exactly the healthy kinds either. They’re usually dense and/or creamy, often dripping with syrup. Once you’ve had your meal, following it with dessert means releasing insulin (see above). Insulin = belly fat = long-term health problems (such as diabetes, hormonal problems, and many more!).
Damage #5 – Stuffing yourself
If you’re like many people in Ramadan, you probably sit on the couch after Iftar, barely able to move. You know why this can be damaging (other then the obvious ‘overeating’)? It will stuff you for so long that you will probably skip the all-important snack before you have another meal. And as you may already know, the key to staying healthy and slim is having small, frequent snacks. If you’re too stuffed, how are you going to have the fruits, say at 9pm? Or the raw nuts? Please go easy at Iftar and allow some space for a healthy snack and a proper dinner/suhoor later.
Damage #6 – Suffocating smoke
For some reason, Ramadan seems to be a time for more shisha and/or cigarettes (especially at Ramadan tents, etc.). So, basically, all the smoke toxins that your body works hard to get rid of all day, come back with a vengeance in the evening! And even if you are NOT a smoker, you can’t escape it! I went to the Ritz Carlton Ramadan tent last night and came back reeking of shisha smell (and I didn’t even smoke it!). This seems to be happening a lot lately (see I Can’t Breathe). Restaurants and food outlets in Bahrain seem to be ‘ducking’ and hoping no one will see that they are VIOLATING THE LAW OF SMOKING NOT ALLOWED IN CLOSED SPACES! When o when is Bahrain going to join the 21st century and allow non-smokers to dine in peace???? Many restaurants/hotels in Bahrain are not implementing this law (few that come to mind are Bushido, Lilou, Ritz… and the list goes on). Some have such a small non-smoking section, it’s a joke. Places like Cafe Italia in Adliya has a non-smoking section up the stairs, but when you sit there you get all the smoke coming up from the smokers downstairs, so you’re surrounded! I could go on and on about this… hmmm.. maybe in another post.
My point is that if you smoke after Iftar, think twice because you are really undoing all the benefits of the fasting. You are adding toxins while detoxing at the same time! You’ll just exhaust your body in the process. And if you a non-smoker, my heart is with you. I wish we had more rights. And I’m talking about basic rights to breathe clean, fresh air. Is it asking too much?
Back to the ramadan damge-control….
For the rest of Ramadan remember that it’s not too late, you can still get maximum benefits from fasting. Here are a few previous blog posts that you can read that might help:
For more good stuff, don’t forget to sign up on my website here www.AliaAlmoayed.com
Leave a comment below and let me know how you’ve been doing this year with fasting!